May 12

Earthquake in China kills up to 5,000

BEIJING (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake in southwest China has killed up to 5,000 people and left as many as 10,000 injured, state media said, as hundreds of children remained trapped in at least eight collapsed schools. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed in Beichuan county of mountainous Sichuan province alone after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the region during the early afternoon on Monday, Xinhua news agency said, citing the local government.

As many as 10,000 in Beichuan county were feared injured and 80 percent of the buildings there had been destroyed, the report said. Beichuan’s population is 161,000, meaning about one in 10 residents were killed or injured in the quake. The county is a part of Mianyang city, and about 160 km (100 miles) from the provincial capital, Chengdu. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 07

Earthquakes Hit Remote Aleutian Islands

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Several earthquakes have jolted various sections of Alaska’s remote Aleutian Islands. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says three light quakes struck early Sunday. Officials say the quakes ranged in magnitudes between 4.2 and 4.7.

The center says a moderate earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 occurred late Saturday night in the Rat Islands region of the Aleutians. There are no immediate reports that any of the quakes were felt or caused any damage.

Source : The Associated Press

Mar 04

Major quake May Hit Kashmir: Warn Experts

SRINAGAR: With Kashmir experiencing mild tremors during the past few days, experts here have not ruled out a major earthquake hitting the occupied Kashmir in near future. The experts say that the frequency of earthquakes gives an indication of a major catastrophe in the distant future.

Geological expert, Dr Mohammad Ismail Bhat said, “We are living in an active seismic zone and with frequent tremors, some pressure is building within the faultlines, which indicates that a major earthquake may hit Kashmir in the distant future”. The Project Coordinator UNDP/ Disaster Management Cell, Kashmir, Aamir Ali said there is no conclusion about a major tremblor taking place in Kashmir that can be drawn just because there has been mild tremors occurring here during the past few days.

The mild tremors were experienced on Fridan and Saturday. Prior to that, a mild quake was also experienced on Feburary 20 and 25. After these tremors, the rumours are afloat in Srinagar that a major quake may hit Kashmir anytime now.”Earthquakes cannot be predicted despite research being done worldwide in this regard”, Aamir observed.

He underlined the fact that the people in this part of the world have to come to terms with the reality that they live in an area which falls in a seismically highly sensitive zone.He added that the people need to develop proper understanding surrounding this fact and they need to cooperate with the government to avoid confusions and misinformation rather than adding to the problems by causing panic among people.

“We have to accept that we are living in an earthquake prone area, when and where an earthquake will strike and what will be its magnitude, is only known to the Almighty. We must take enough precautions to avoid large-scale devastation in the eventuality of a disaster. Despite these precautions, future earthquakes may still cause damage to buildings”, added Aamir.-SANA

Feb 04

Dozens killed by earthquakes in Rwanda and Congo

Two earthquakes struck hours apart in Rwanda and neighbouring Congo, killing at least 39 people, and injuring 380. A magnitude-6.0 quake struck Congo early on Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey. The second quake, which registered 5.0, hit a few hours later near the countries’ border in Rwanda’s rural Rusizi district.

“I was at home when the earthquake hit and the next thing I heard was the house falling down,” said Florence Nyiranzoga, who was airlifted to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, for treatment of her injuries. Asuma Mujawase, another victim, who was also airlifted to Kigali, said the death toll was sure to rise.

“I am sure very many people are going to die,” she said, adding that the hospital near the quake’s center was full and “people were scattered in the hospital compound.” In Rwanda, 34 people were killed and 231 wounded, according to the country’s ministry of health. Frank Mugambage, an official in the president’s office, said several people were killed when their church collapsed. Rescuers were searching for more victims.

Across the border in the lakeside Congolese city of Bukavu, the mayor Raisi Kunda said five people were killed and 149 injured. Kunda said many homes, as well as schools and churches, were damaged in the city, but the extent was not immediately clear.

The area where the earthquakes hit is part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, which includes a seismically active fault line. The tremors from the quake in Rwanda shook the capital, Kigali, some 125 miles away from the Rusizi district.
Source: Guardian

Jan 08

Strong quake hits Greece, no casualties reported

ATHENS – An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck Greece on Sunday, shaking people out of bed and sending panic-stricken villagers into the streets but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The quake woke residents in the capital Athens, where 143 people were killed in 1999 by an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale. Greece is often rattled by earthquakes, most causing no serious damage.

Sunday’s strong jolt prompted people in several cities to call emergency services. Police said they had not received any reports of casualties or damage so far. “The house was shaking badly,” a woman from the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi told a radio station.

Officials said the epicentre of the quake was near the town of Leonidio on the Peloponnese peninsula. “At 7:14 a.m. (0514 GMT) there was a strong earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, 150 km (90 miles) south, southwest of Athens,” said George Drakatos from the Athens Observatory that monitors quakes.

Seismologists said the quake was about 80 km (50 miles) deep and that explained why it had not caused serious damage. The deadly 1999 Athens earthquake was closer to the earth’s surface. The U.S. Geological Survey said on its website that the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.1.

“There was panic and small items fell in households but there was no serious damage,” said the deputy mayor of Leonidio, Ilias Manos. “People rushed out to the streets but everything is normal now. “It was a very strong earthquake but we’ve communicated with the surrounding villages and until this moment there is no problem,” he told Greek television.

Greek media said they had received calls from people who felt the quake in several towns, mainly in the south and on Aegean Sea islands. (Reporting by Dina Kyriakidou, editing by Myra MacDonald)
original source

Jan 07

Magnitude-6.7 quake hits near B.C. coast

Source: CTV.ca
A “strong” underwater earthquake occurred off the coast of B.C. early Saturday morning, registering a magnitude of 6.7.

The quake, the second of three to strike in the same area early this morning, hit at about 3:45 a.m. Pacific Standard Time Saturday, said Guy Urban of the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

The original quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.3, Urban told CTV Newsnet.

“We thought nothing of it, put out an information statement on it, and approximately 20 minutes later the larger quake came in with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7, and that was located almost in the same spot about 135 miles (241 kilometres) southwest of Sandspit, Queen Charlotte Islands.”

Urban said there is little or no chance of a tsunami occurring, but officials followed standard procedure and released a “tsunami information statement high” to make people aware that a quake had taken place.

“A damaging tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska coasts,” says the statement from the centre. “Some of these areas may experience non-damaging sea level changes. At coastal locations which have experienced strong ground shaking, local tsunamis are possible due to underwater landslides.”

The underwater quake registering a magnitude of 6.7 could easily cause major damage were it to occur on land, Urban said.

“It would probably cause walls to crack and probably concrete foundations to tumble a little bit, so it could be fairly devastating. It’s called a strong earthquake so it’s large enough to cause some damage.”

Urban said underwater earthquakes of 30 seconds or more have the potential to cause a tsunami.

“The general rule of thumb is if people are in or near the water when an earthquake occurs and it lasts for more than 30 seconds they should go to high ground because there’s a possibility a tsunami could have been generated.”